PERFORMERS (I-P)

Was looking through my old albums yesterday and found one of my favorites from Jimmy McGriff. Jimmy was a very talented jazz-organist. However, his music was more than just jazz, it was a mixture of bop and funk that has you dancing through almost all his music. On this particular album “Let’s Stay Together,” which I also call his “remake album,” remake in a good way. The entire album is instrumental, with some sick beats I think any jazz fan would love. His reinterpretation of Isaac Hayes’s iconic theme “Shaft,” was a masterpiece! The beat is so smooth and rich with base. I love base in jazz music. Absolutely!

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Does anybody remember the Partridge Family? This was a television show based on a real life group called The Cowsills. The stars of the show were Shirley Jones and David Cassidy. Other casted family members were Danny Bonaduce, Jeremy Gelbwaks, Suzanne Crough, Dave Madden, and Susan Dey. I’m not sure if all of them were real musicians, I know that for most if not all of the show, they pretended to play instruments. However, I do know that David Cassidy was an actual performer. Girls went goo goo gaa gaa for David. You’d think he was a Beatle or something. I didn’t listen to a whole lot of their songs, but one popular one that I liked was a song called “I Think I love You.” The song reached to number one, on Nov. 21, 1970. It’s basically an up beat song about young school love. Check the greatest hits collection on Rhapsody.

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I can’t call Lou Rawls a one hit wonder, but unfortunately there is only one song I like from this entire album. The song also happens to be one of his biggest classic hits of all times; which pretty much put him on map forever as far as I”m concerned (at least those of my generation). That song is “You’ll Never Find A Love Like Mine.” Lou’s voice has turned that song in to something special; a song that I believed no one else could have song with the same romantic flair. But, again, that was pretty much it for this particular album. Unfortunately much of Lou Rawls music wasn’t my cup of tea. It was almost like listening to a soulful version of Frank Sanatra. Actually, I like more of Frank Sanatra’s songs than Lou Rawls. I guess that should tell you something. LOL. However, I’m not foolish to think there’s no one else out in the cyberspace that wouldn’t like it. Check out his album on Rhapsody.

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I’m not going to bother doing a review for this album. We all know that this is the baddest album in music history. I really miss Michael. I still can’t believe he’s gone. I was jamming to a lot of his music today. I remembered looking at few clips of Motown 25 not too long ago. I don’t know about my visitors, but, when I think of Motown 25, I immediately think of Michael’s Billie Jean performance. Oh, man, the beat, the base, his moves, everything was just perfect. I don’t think that Michael could have redone it any better than what it was. All of a sudden, I was in the mood to listen to some Michael all day today LOL. I’m not going to even bother choosing the best songs I like, because I love all of them, as I’m sure you do too. Listen With Rhapsody

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Jefferson Airplane was one of the many huge rock bands of the 60’s-70’s. They sang a lot of psychedelic type music; psychedelic music was the kind of music that you could stomach unless you were drunk or high. Literally. LOL. When I think of Jefferson Airplane, I think of Woodstock and such. I wasn’t ever a true fan of this group; however, there were two songs from this 1967 album called “Surrealistic Pillow,” that has been my all-time favorites from them. The first is called is called “White Rabbit.” Grace Slick (lead singer) sang her ass of on this song. I absolutely love the beat in this song, it was so hot for a song produced in the 60’s era! When you first listen to it, it almost sounds like troops getting ready for the battle of their lives! But, when you actually listen to the lyrics, you realize they’re actually singing about drugs, which was not uncommon especially during the sex revolution. The second song which happens to also be on the same album is called “Somebody To Love.” I love “Somebody To Love” because it reminded me of the kinds of music that was written during the “Flower Power Era.” Although, in my opinion, this particular album isn’t psychedelic, but it has more of a “Mama’s and The Papa’s” sound to it. You just may like it.

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I’m not sure if any of my Caribbean visitors would remember this album. Soca Earthquake by Machel Montano was one of the biggest soca album of 1987. Not sure how old he was when he did this album (I estimate probably about 13 years old); but when I heard this album, it was clear that music was in his blood then (and still is). I can’t believe it has already been 28 years since this album was released! There wasn’t one West Indian household that wasn’t either playing this record, or begging someone to make a copy of it for them. The biggest hit off this album was a song called “I.” “I” was the hottest song on the entire 4 song album. Everybody got up to dance when “I” was spinning on the turntable. In fact, people used to almost always request re-plays in my house. There was another song that was nice to, which was “Earthquake.” The other two last songs “School Days Soca,” and “Mother’s Child,” were ok, but they didn’t make me feel I wanted to dance. I think with 2 hits out of 4 songs, the last two tempo should have been a little faster in order to keep that momentum. Today, Machel Montano looks so different here. I know he’s had quite a bit of hits since then; but for me, I will always remember him for this album “Soca Earthquake.” You’d proably pay a pretty penny for this album now, cause it will most likely be an import (I think). However, here is the album on streaming.

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I was skimming through my collections and stumbled upon a very old song that used to be my favorite (still is). It’s a song called “Los Chucos Suaves,” by a guy named “Lalo Guerrero.” This song is so cool! I think this artist was way a head of his time, because as far as I’m concerned, this song is timeless. Twenty years from now you can play this song and still dance to his beat. It is the perfect song to introduce to your children early Chicano (or Xicano) music. You know, it kind of almost reminds me of the song called “Jump In The Line (1961),” song by Harry Belafonte. You know, that song that was in the movie “Beetle Juice (1988)?” By the way, this was also composed by Lalo –  Correction: it was Lord Kitchener that composed “Jump In The Line” (my bad). It was said that Lalo was the first Chicano Composer, and he wasn’t scared to show his heritage. He became one of the biggest musicians of his time, singing all kinds of sub-genres within Mexican music; which included children’s album. One of these children’s album was called “Lalo Guerrero Y Sus Ardillitas.” I am tempted to say that “Alvin and the Chipmunks” was a “bite off/spin off” of the album. It’s nice to do research, I would have never known. I also think that it is interesting to note that, Lalo was an important part of Chicano/Chicana history, yet there was no mention of him on Wikipedia’s page Alvin and the Chipmunks. I only mention this because I am pretty sure Lalo played a significant role in making that show/franchise popular. But I digress. To be honest my favorites are his danceable music. To my understanding his music became the voice of Mexican Americans. I didn’t see a large selection of Lalo’s music on streaming, but I did find one album that would give you a general idea for his music. However, I do recommend you do further research on him.

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All I can say is, thank goodness for Rhapsody. If this was the very best of Macy, then I really didn’t miss much! Macy does not have a great singing voice, just was one of those people that got lucky and struck it big with a hit song. Macy is like one of those drunk family members at parties, that know every single words to every single song, and sings all of them at every family function LOL. I’ll just come out and say it; she reminds me of Billie Holiday a lot, in that she spent most of her time in the recording studio blasted! The only difference between Macy and Billie, is that if I had to pick an artist to listen to for a day, I’d rather listen to Billie. The one and only song I liked from Macy (and I”m sure many would agree), is the one big hit called “I Try.” The song “I Try” seemed to be that one song that really suited her voice; perhaps maybe because that was the energy she was in at the time of that recording. It was a very slow and mellow song, yet the texture of her voice, and the way she sang the song made it fun to listen to. I did manage to find one other choice song called “I’ve Committed Murder,” which has a very hot beat in my opinion. I think you’ll like the lyrics too, it’s actually quite funny. I wasn’t feeling the album she released last year either. I don’t know, maybe I should give her another chance? I’m kind of saddened, because had Macy just stayed sober a little bit more often, I think she had the potential to have an awesome singing career.

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Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole has had many challenges; from drug abuse, to being on dialysis as a result of kidney failure, and came close to losing her life quite a few times because of illness. Through all that, Natalie still persevered!  She is an inspiring woman. Well, being the daughter of one of the most famous men in the world in his time, the public had a lot of expectations for Natalie, and she did not disappoint.  This is for me, the most memorable album from Natalie, and it has 3 of my most favorites! “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “I’ve Got Love On My Mind,” and finally “Inseparable.” Those three songs were the bomb back in the day (I don’t care what anybody says)!  I also like “Mr. Melody,” in some weird way, it reminds me of “Copacabana” song by Barry Manilow. There is one other song that I really liked which is not on this album; it’s the song she released using prerecorded sound clips of her father; it’s called “Unforgettable.” Unfortunately, I don’t like a lot of Nat’s music (I can probably count on one hand), but I feel that “Unforgettable” was a really beautiful and romantic song, and Natalie did an excellent job paying tribute to her father.

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Ok guys, I am REALLY dating myself here. What are the chances of you finding Black American talking about this oldie (in this day and age)?!! LOL. To be honest, I don’t know if this is a one hit wonder or not, because I don’t listen to Japanese music (unless I am watching a martial arts picture). Mr. Kyu Sakamoto recorded an album in 1961, which included a song called Sukiyaki. Sukiyaki became a  huge hit in the United States, and around the world. It was basically a “puppy love” song; a guy singing about how sad he is because his girl basically dumped him. Interestingly, the song’s lyrics has nothing to do with the actual meaning of the word “Sukiyaki.” You can read more about the song and Kyu Sakamato from Wiki here. Many artist around the world covered this song, including “Taste Of Honey,” and Selena.

Rhapsody – Kyu Sakamoto

Spotify – Kyu Sakamoto

Rhapsody – Selena

Spotify – Selena

Rhapsody – Taste Of Honey

Spotify – Taste Of Honey

Youtube – 4PM